When your employer tries to make you work outside your restrictions, you need to take action. Otherwise, you could have both medical complications and work performance issues.
- Do you have to work outside your restrictions?
Your employer cannot force you to work outside your restrictions. You do not have to go along with your manager’s requests and do the work. But you need to explain to your employer that the tasks go against your restrictions. You may need to tell the employer that you will have difficulty performing the tasks or might make your injuries worse. Always have the most updated version of your doctor’s note at hand, and make sure your employer gets a copy as soon as your doctor writes it.
- How should you address the employer’s demands?
Again, you should not be performing tasks that exceed your medical restrictions. Instead, go back to your doctor and explain what is happening. If your employer believes that the tasks follow your restrictions, your doctor may be able to write you a more specific note. Alternatively, the doctor may decide that you are ready to have fewer restrictions.
Always tell your doctor if you are having trouble doing any tasks at work due to your injury. Your doctor can adjust your restrictions appropriately. If you are working with a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC), he or she can act as an intermediary among you, your doctor, and the employer. QRCs also can help employees better document the issues they are having with certain job duties.
- What if the employer retaliates against you or fires you because you refuse to work outside your restrictions?
Employers are prohibited by law from retaliating against or terminating you because you seek workers’ compensation benefits. Further, other laws prohibit discrimination and retaliation against people with disabilities, which can include some work restrictions resulting from workplace injuries.
If you are facing retaliation or termination, first talk to your doctor about clarifying or modifying your restrictions. Next, talk to a workers’ compensation attorney in your local area. Explain to your attorney what your employer is doing, why you feel it is against your restrictions, and what you have tried to do to fix it. Your attorney can help you explore further options.
Are you struggling to get your employer to give you work within your medical restrictions? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.